Professor Victor Pickard and doctoral student Nicholas Gilewicz presented research papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in Montréal, Canada this month. The AEJMC Conference was attended by 2,000-plus journalism and mass communication administrators, professors, graduate students, and professionals.
Their presentation titles and abstracts follow:
Victor Pickard - "The Strange History of the Fairness Doctrine: An Inquiry into Shifting Policy Discourses and Unsettled Normative Foundations"
Abstract: The Fairness Doctrine, one of the most famous and controversial media policies ever debated, suffered a final death-blow in August 2011 when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permanently struck it from the books. The doctrine continues to be invoked by proponents and detractors alike, suggesting that the policy will live on long past its official death at the hands of liberal policymakers who had hoped to quietly remove it from the nation’s political discourse. The following paper attempts to demystify the Fairness Doctrine by historically contextualizing it while also drawing attention to how it continues to be deployed. Tracing how ideologies and discourses around the Fairness Doctrine have shifted over time serves as an important case study for how political conflict shapes the normative foundations of core media policies. The paper concludes with a discussion of positive freedoms as fundamental principles for American media policy.
Nicholas Gilewicz - "The Phantom of Walter Lippmann, and Walter Lippmann's Phantom: Understanding Responses to Present Crises Facing Journalism"
Abstract: This article comprises a critical review essay of a dozen books published about crises facing journalism from 2007 to the present. Reviewing these texts reveals the liminal position of journalists in the U.S. political economy—media observers appeal to the quasi-scientific expertise journalists claim, while also explicating journalists’ position as representing the voice of a wider public. This cognitive dissonance echoes the so-called “Lippmann-Dewey debates,” even as, a century on, “the public” has radically evolved.